Monday, September 26, 2022

Guyanese company offering ‘new age logistics with old world knowledge’

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Symmetry Brokerage and Logistics Service Incorporated (SBLS) is a fully owned and operated Guyanese company. Led by Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd Bart, it is raising the bar and setting the standard for Guyanese brokerage and logistics companies, particularly those operating in the oil and gas sector.

Bart explains that he and his wife—Kerensa Gravesande-Bart—founded the home-grown firm in 2018, and it provides a gamut of brokerage and logistics services. The business quickly became a standout, making full use of Bart’s inside knowledge of the industry gained during 17-plus years of experience.

“We translated our experience to a logistics firm that can handle all facets for the oil and gas sector. Our services range from customs clearance to vessel management, international freight forwarding, non- resident importer services, immigrations services, meet-and-greets, transportation, as well as advisory services for clients,” Bart explains.

The company, which is also 100 percent Guyanese staffed, serves local and international companies, including those operating in Guyana’s oil and gas sector.

According to Bart, the company’s competitive edge comes from its use of advanced, highly-specialized software to manage its day-to-day operations, and its ability to address the needs of its clients holistically.

“We have our own software that manages the entire process from end to end for us. It was solely designed by Symmetry Logistics and has been used to execute specific tasks for our clients. We have married a synergy of both technology and compliance into one company, which allows us to execute services at a high level for clients and not just for the oil and gas sector but locally as well. We have specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that we meet on a daily basis that staff are more than capable of doing and with the help of the technological side of the business, we are able to meet those KPIs,” the CEO said.

More importantly, he noted that the biggest win for Symmetry has been its compliance with international standards. In 2018, soon after becoming established, the company officially became Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) certified.   This certification signifies that a company has completed internationally accepted due-diligence procedures and has been forthcoming and cooperative during the review process.

Later in 2019, the company was invited to become a member of the Global Logistics Network, which has allowed it to negotiate freight and shipping charges throughout the world.

“We can do this in 168 countries so our network for freight clearances is very expansive. As a 100 percent Guyanese-owned company, we are setting the bar because we are taking what local companies are doing here and digitising it, making it more internationally recognised so our international clients have the comfort of working with first-world countries, but locally it is being managed by a 100 percent local company.  We have brokers who have been in the game for about 25 to 30 years, giving us about 60 years of experience within the company,” he says.

The company is focused on growing its footprint and continuously raising the standards of its operations. In 2021, Symmetry was invited by the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD) to join their ISO Mentorship programme to become ISO compliant and ISO certified.

Dr. Stefan Gravesande, the Quality Health Safety Security and Environmental Officer at SLBS, who is overseeing the process towards ISO certification, says the company is currently ISO 45001 and ISO 9001 compliant. It wants to achieve full certification by the end of 2021.

“We are currently on the path of getting ISO 45001 certification. We have been compliant but recently we have taken a step further so that we can be 100 percent compliant and achieve certification by year end. Being a Guyanese-owned company with these certifications mean that there is an expanded market for us on an international scale. It means when they hire local content, we have to adhere to those international standards and it has really pushed us to raise the bar and implement the systems to meet those standards,” he explains.

As CEO Bart says, “Symmetry is the perfect embodiment of new age logistics with old world compliance and knowledge. We have the knowledge that is require to manage and support our clients in any of their endeavors in Guyana as well as we have the technological stance, which allows visibility and fast innovative processes.”

Symmetry has extended its services to neighbouring Suriname, where operators within that country’s oil and gas sector can now benefit from the local company’s vast expertise and experience.

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